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Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestling is a rodeo sport that involves quickly dismounting from a horse and throwing a steer to the ground. At the beginning of the competition, the steer sits between two horseback rides: the participant and the “hazer,” whose role is to prevent the steer from moving too far away to the side. The steer is given a head start before the participant rides after and catches up to the steer, dismounts from the horse while it is still in motion, grabs the steer (which often weighs between two and three times more than the rider), and throws the steer to the ground. In a successful throw, all of the steer's legs must be off the ground. As this is a timed competition, the fastest time wins the competition.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Rodeo sports developed from cattle ranching tasks in the western United States. These sports became professionalized in the late 1800s as several major competitions, including the Calgary Stampede, were established. Their popularity has grown recently in the GTA, with upwards of 50 rodeo events taking place over the calendar year. Steer wrestling, specifically, has existed in the United States since at least the 1890s, from where it quickly spread to Alberta and then other parts of Canada as part of rodeo tours.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages may participate, although many participants are White males from rural areas. Female competitors often participate in steer undecorating instead of steer wrestling.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Rodeo competitions occur throughout the year. The Ontario High School Rodeo Association hosts several competitions throughout the school year. The Ontario Riding Association hosts professional and amateur rodeo events on a monthly basis. Professional rodeo circuits also host events in the GTA area occasionally during the year.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

The Ontario High School Rodeo Association; Ontario Rodeo Association; Canadian Rodeo Association

Cultural Significance

While rodeo sports do not hold cultural significance with specific ethnocultural groups, these activities and their associated “cowboy culture” can be viewed as symbolically important in some rural Canadian communities.

Is there anything else we should know?



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